Evergrey – The Atlantic

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Evergrey – The Atlantic
AFM Records
Release Date: 25/01/2019
Running Time: 54:07
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

There are certain bands, that when they pop up on the “reviews to do” list, I always try to get my name against first and Evergrey are one of those bands! Having been a fan since I purchased a copy of their 2008 album “Torn” on a whim, and also having reviewed their 2016 album “The Storm Within” I thought it was only right that I reviewed their latest offering “The Atlantic.”

Evergrey are a Swedish Progressive Metal band from Gothenburg, formed in 1995, and led by frontman and songwriter, Tom S Englund, they have always been synonymous with “technically and compositionally outstanding standards, combined with lyrics and messages which go way beyond rock ‘n’ roll prose.”

Progressive Metal is not one of my preferred genres, but there are a few bands that stand out in the field, and, for me, Evergrey have always been one of the best. With this new album, the band have manifested their reputation as one of the most unusual and innovative progressive metal acts….worldwide!

This album also sees them complete their “Hymns For The Broken” trilogy, which began life with the launch of Part 1 back in 2014, and is all about the adventure of ‘life’.
As on Hymns For The Broken and it’s 2016 successor The Storm Within, the new album is about events and experiences in our lives,” explains Englund, “it’s about relationships, beauty and darkness, about fortune and grief, about love, hate, despair, joy and everything connected with it. Life is like a journey across the ocean, on the way to distant shores.

So, it was rather apt then, to call the album “The Atlantic”, the second largest ocean on the planet, and with it, they take their listeners on a tempestuous voyage across the rough seas, something that only prog metal can really do!

The expressive cover art work was designed by Greek artist Giannis Nakos, who is renowned for his work for Oceans of Slumber and Hades Rising, among others. The album was mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen and was produced by Tom, himself, along with drummer Jonas Ekdahl.

The lyrics of Everygrey songs have always been of the darker side, as has the band’s imagery, and this album is no different, with the words being delivered with deep feeling and emotion from the talented voice of Tom. I have always been a fan of Tom’s voice and he did not disappoint on this album. He just seems to get better and better.

There are ten tracks in total and, although together they make for a superb album, each one can stand alone with “amazing power, depth and exciting detail.” There are no bad songs here and I don’t think Mr Englund could write an awful track even if he tried.

The first track on the album is ‘A Silent Arc’ and is probably one of the fiercest and toughest tracks Evergrey have ever recorded. Says their publicity notes, it’s “brutal in a certain kind of Evergrey way!” But, this is not the only function of this track. While it also sets the whole lyrical and musical content of the album, it is also the first single release. Quite a cute move to place it number one in the track list!

There will also be videos to accompany the atmospherically heavy ‘Weightless’, my favourite track on the album, and the anthemic and melancholic ‘All I Have’, two highlights from the thoroughly diverse and haunting album. Also, check out track number two ‘A Secret Atlantis’. Those opening riffs are just magnificent.

The band’s Facebook page cites their influences as Kiss, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Korn and The Deftones, and to be honest I can’t hear any of those bands in Evergrey’s music. For me, these guys produce music that is totally unique to them. They have the riffs and the guitars, the drums and the vocals that bands of all genres of metal possess, but the way it is all put together just sets them miles apart from the rest. This is music you could break up and make up to. It’s music that makes you feel emotions that you might not necessarily want to feel. It’s music that gets you right in the stomach and tears at your heartstrings! And there are not many bands out there who can do that!

If you have not heard Evergrey’s music before….where the hell have you been for the past twenty years?? And, more importantly, GO and BUY this album! In fact go and buy them all. They are definitely a band you need to hear.

I hope these guys continue to make lots more of their fantastic music and next time they are in London (question for you there Tom??!) I will definitely be at the front!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. A Silent Arc
02. Weightless
03. All I Have
04. A Secret Atlantis
05. The Tidal
06. End Of Silence
07. Currents
08. Departure
09. The Beacon
10. This Ocean

LINKS:
http://www.evergrey.net/
https://www.facebook.com/Evergrey/

https://www.instagram.com/evergreyofficial/

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Dynazty – Firesign

Firesign Cover

Dynazty – Firesign
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running time: 49:28
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

It’s no secret that Sweden is one of the best breeding grounds for Metal and Rock bands, particularly when it comes to Hard Rock, and Dynazty are one of the recent bands to make it out onto the airwaves and into the hearts of Hard Rock fans on a global scale. Could they join the list of bands along with the likes of Eclipse and H.E.A.T? Well, if their latest album “Firesign” is anything to go by then most certainly!

One of the things “Firesign” does is ensures Dynazty’s fierce reputation for strong vocals, finger blistering riffs and dominant melodies. The bold sounds of the 80’s and 90’s are coming back to fruition and bands like Dynazty are here to ensure this sound will never die.

If you are not familiar with Dynazty, the sounds from the latest release could seem a little mediocre at first, especially with a name like “Firesign” when you would expect a lot more heat and passion. But, when you hear the story behind what they were going for, it becomes clear. They were aiming for a stripped-down version of their previous material and that is what they have given us. After finding that out it’s easier to relax and enjoy what’s playing.

“Firesign” kicks off with the gallant singles ‘Breathe With Me’ and ‘The Grey’. If Helloween and The Scorpions had concocted a track together then ‘Breath With Me’ would be it. It gets things moving with its empowering melody, consisting of brilliant riffs, great vocals and emphasising orchestral elements. ‘The Grey’ is a modern classic with its brilliant melody and chorus. Whatever they do to make their melodies memorable for days on end will remain a mystery but let’s hope they continue to use that magic.

The band showcase clear talent and energy throughout the album. They deliver an excellent portfolio of songs from the pumping ‘In The Arms Of A Devil’ to the sweeping beats of ‘Follow Me’.

The bouncy beginning riff in ‘Ascension’ provides a strong hint of the Sabaton hit ‘Gott Mit Uns’, so it’s only logical to imagine glossy hair swishing back and forth to the beat. The beat slows down to allow us to enjoy the strong melody right through to the punchy chorus. This track is interesting in terms of how many different elements of the song there are. Sometimes adding lots of these can either backfire or work highly in the band’s favour. In Ascension’s case it works.

The title track provides a sense of empowerment and hope, particularly when things are looking bleak across the board. The sweeping beat provides an excellent backing for the orchestral elements, powerful vocals and excellent riffs. It could be interpreted that the verses represent the negativity going on in the world and the chorus is the phoenix rising from the ashes, representing hope. But, the only people who would know that for sure are the band themselves.

The intro to ‘Follow Me’ provides strong reminiscence of the sounds of the 80’s. The catchy melody, huge vocals and mighty riffs reinforce this. This will be a song that will go down well at live shows with its punchy verses and choruses.

It ends on a rather grand note with ‘Starfall’. This provides a great climax, yet leaves the listener wanting more. “Firesign” is a grower, the more times you listen to it the more you like it!

This is a band who are going places and I hope they continue to do so!

Tracklist:
1. Breathe with Me
2. The Grey
3. In the Arms of a Devil
4. My Darkest Hour
5. Ascension
6. Firesign
7. Closing Doors
8. Follow Me
9. Let Me Dream Forever
10. Starfall
11. The Light Inside the Tunnel

Links:
http://www.dynazty.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dynaztyband/

https://www.youtube.com/user/DynaztyOfficial

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök

Prophecy Of Ragnarök Cover

Brothers of Metal – Prophecy Of Ragnarök
Label: AFM Records
Release Date: 16/11/2018
Running time: 51:23
Review by Lotty Whittingham
10/10

It was easy to regard them as Sweden’s best kept secret until now. Due to their recent signing to AFM Records, Brothers of Metal have re-released their mighty debut “Prophecy of Ragnarök”, potential warriors eager to hear the stories of their quest, and this album is a worthy quest of strength, power and determination.

It’s very rare nowadays to find an album that displays great anthems from start to finish but Brothers of Metal achieves this mighty feat. For any fans of Sabaton, Manowar and Powerwolf, I highly recommend this album to you, and after one listen, you will want to ride into battle with them.

The album doesn’t beat around the bush. It goes straight into battle with the song ‘The Death Of Light God’. The rapid drum beats and guitar riffs will make anyone want to get up, don their battle garments and charge. It gives you the first taste of what the band can give the listeners. It also gives a first taste of the vocal power between the singers. Ilva Eriksson’s vocal range covers a wide spectrum from powerful to sensitive, providing the perfect contrast to Joakim Lindbäck Eriksson’s roaring and rough vocals. Last but not least, there is Mats Nilsson, who provides the tongue of the gods. A great vocal technique that works in favour of these warriors.

It’s a given cliché to say there is something for everyone, yet that statement applies to this album. There is an eclectic selection of powerful songs that could all be anthems in their own right. From the sweeping ballad ‘Yggrasil’ to the merry shouts of ‘The Mead Song’, there is something to suit every mood under the sun. Noted, another cliché but it’s true!

‘Son Of Odin’ is as mighty as the track name itself. It starts off with a stately roar of thunder and the rest is just as grand. It’s a great song to go into battle with. The lyrical content is also fantastic, getting the balance of posing a threat and a light comic side spot on. The battle lyrics include “I am the son Odin, I bring lightning from the sky” and “Fire, blood and magic leaves me with a thirst”. The comical lyrics include “Loki is my brother, he has no sex appeal” and “I want to ride to battle, but now I’ve lost my horse.” Given this description, this mighty song is easily a favourite on the album.

No album is usually complete without a slow track and ‘Yggrasil’ provides the perfect calming down before heading into battle again. It’s a beautiful ballad that will bring Vikings and shieldmaidens together for some much-needed intimacy and contains a combination of powerful voices.

Fans of Viking Metal and all other sub genres alike now have a new party song, titled ‘The Mead Song’ and it will encourage non-stop partying and letting down of hair. Everything from the merry beats to the shouting chants screaming “MEAD” and “ANOTHER” will go down well with fans and new listeners alike. Theoretically, this song will go down a treat with those experiencing it live.

It ends on a triumphant note with the song ‘We Believe In Metal’. This song is a grand climax to the album, yet it still leaves you wanting more. With this re-release, it’s evident that 2019 will be the year Brothers Of Metal invade the airwaves and venues alike to spread their powerful message.

AXE TIME, SWORD TIME are the battle cries everyone will be hearing and chanting before you know it.

Tracklist:
1. The Death Of The God Of Light
2. Son Of Odin
3. Prophecy Of Ragnarök
4. Defenders Of Valhalla
5. Concerning Norns
6. Yggdrasil
7. Tyr
8. Siblings Of Metal
9. Gods Of War
10. Freya
11. The Mead Song
12. Sleipnir
13. Fire Blood And Steel
14. We Believe In Metal

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.instagram.com/brothersofmetalofficial/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjTRADohcFt4lKeVrd0Kuxg

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Lotty Whittingham and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Gama Bomb – Speed Between The Lines

 

Speed Between The Lines Cover

Gama Bomb – Speed Between the Lines
AFM Records
Release date: 12/10/2018
Running time: 35.07
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Hello and welcome to Thrash School. For todays lesson, you will need:

• Skin tight jeans (preferably with ripped knees)
• Faded Acid Reign t-shirt
• Studded leather belt and 1x studded leather wrist band
• White hi-top leather Converse
• Black leather jacket (denim vest over jacket optional)
• Baseball cap with “NOT” written under the peak

Because today we will be listening to the new album by Gama Bomb, entitled “Speed Between the Lines”.

These merry metallers have an uncanny ability to rewind the cassette of time to a simpler age. It’s like grunge never happened. Instead, we get twelve face-lacerating tunes that rush by in uncompromising fashion. This is thrash metal, kids, buckle up for the ride.

Eighties thrash was often pre-occupied with party bum-out vibes like nuclear destruction. Apparently, it’s a post-Cold War world though, so these boys don’t wallow in misery for too long. Not that they don’t have a social conscience: witness the admirable stab at the current political climate in “Alt Reich”.

But they’re just as happy dedicating an ode to Kurt Russell, which is perfectly justified in my opinion. Kurt is, of course, an icon of twentieth century popular culture. Not convinced? Go watch The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China and you can thank me later.

Back to the music. Although diversity isn’t Gama Bomb’s strong point – Master of Puppets this ain’t – the listener is rewarded with a dozen tracks that speed by relentlessly. The musicianship is amazing, with blitzkrieg lead guitar all over the place.

The occasional change of pace would add some additional colour, but you can’t fault the commitment and enthusiasm of this band. This album is the full package with cool themes and some of the best song titles I’ve heard in a long time (666teen? Give them an award NOW). The music is intense and exciting in equal measure, bringing to mind classic Overkill, Anthrax and Nuclear Assault.

So dig out your old Variflex skateboard and ask your big brother’s mate to buy you a two litre bottle of cider from the Co-op. With Gama Bomb you can party like it’s 1987. This history lesson is over.

Track listing:
1. Give Me Leather
2. A Hanging
3. 666teen
4. Bring Out the Monster
5. R.I.P. U
6. Motorgeist
7. Alt-Reich
8. Stay Rotten
9. We R Going 2 Eat U
10. Kurt Russell
11. World Gone to Hell
12. Faceblaster

Social Media:
www.gamabomb.net
www.facebook.com/gamabomb
dh@afm-records.de

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost

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Brainstorm – Midnight Ghost
AFM Records
Release Date: 28/09/2018
Running Time: 51:38
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Being just over forty years of age but preferring a lot of the older bands, I was always late to the party where many bands were concerned. Brainstorm were one of these such bands. I first heard them one night when I was browsing through YouTube. They appeared as a “recommended bands” on the right-hand side of the screen so I thought I would check them. And I am glad I did. From the very first track I listened to, I loved them. They were just the sort of metal that I loved.

But, then they kind of disappeared from my radar.

So, when Rick sent me the new album, I just had to review it to see if they are still as good as I remembered. And they are!! But first a little history!

Brainstorm are power metal band from Germany (where else? All the decent power metal bands seem to come from Germany!) They were formed in 1989 (hence why I was late to the party with these guys. I was only 12!) by guitarists, Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, and drummer Dieter Bernert, and are known for playing a somewhat darker style of music than most power metal bands.

During their early years they built up a solid groundwork with several demo releases and live appearance. They signed their first record deal in 1997 and the self-produced album “Hungry” was released, to great reviews. Chart entries in many European countries followed and their intense live performances were catapulting them into the champions league of or metal, resulting in the band being asked to perform at many of the big festivals.

And now on to their new album “Midnight Ghost”. This is the band’s 12th studio album (man, I need to buy some of their back catalogue), produced by Seeb Levermann and recorded at the Greenman Studios. It was released on 28th September 2018 by AFM Records.

Although not a concept album in the strictest sense of the word, there is a thematic thread running through the tracks…the fear of ghosts, monsters under your bed, the bogeyman in your wardrobe and wild beasts in the night….all fears that many of us have had since childhood and this is all depicted magnificently in the cover artwork produced by Gyula Havancsak (who has also worked with the likes of Accept and Stratovarius).

This album has a sound that it bound to delight all power metal fans and was even a surprise for the five band members themselves. Says vocalist Andy P Franck; “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get the shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case, we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording. Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

From the anthemic opener “Devil’s Eye” to the driving “When Pain Becomes Real” to the punchy “Haunting Voices”, Brainstorm more than live up to the term ‘melodic power metal.’ They deliver the full range of their typical trademarks, awesome melodies, dynamic grooves and extremely heavy, pounding guitar riffs. The galloping drums that I so love are there too, and of course, magnificent vocals. One of the things that made me fall in love with this band the first time I heard them was Andy P Franck’s voice. Strong and powerful yet able to carry off a huge range that adds dimension to the band’s sound and this he still has in abundance!

All the tracks are fantastic in their own right but together they make up an awesome album that should be in any metal fan’s collection. Not only do they bring the power element that they are so good at, but there are elements of thrash, traditional and speed metal too.

Says Andy P Franck; “Midnight Ghost is faster, more melodic and at the same time also tougher than all our previous releases.” And I couldn’t agree more. Why stick to one genre or aspect of metal when you can combine many and achieve a sound like this?

I can’t fault this album really and I really don’t want to take it out of my car. But, alas, needs must for the next review!

All I can say though is, when are you coming to England guys!!?

TRACK LISTING
01 – Devil’s Eye
02 – Revealing The Darkness
03 – Ravenous Minds
04 – The Pyre
05 – Jeanne Boulet (1764)
06 – Divine Inner Ghost
07 – When Pain Becomes Real
08 – The Four Blessings
09 – Haunting Voices
10 – The Path

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/officialbrainstorm/
https://www.brainstorm-web.net/site/

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Onslaught – VI

VI Cover

ONSLAUGHT – “VI”
AFM Records
Release Date: 20/09/2013
Running Time 39:30
Review by Rick Tilley
10/10

This Review was first published in 2014 and is reprinted courtesy of Brutiful Metal Radio

I have been a big fan of Onslaught since their debut album ‘Power From Hell’ hit the streets in 1985. They were at the forefront of the UK Thrash movement back then and a perfect counterpart to the Bay Area and German scenes. I was also lucky enough to be part of the crowd who witnessed one of Sy Keeler’s very first gigs with the band at The Marquee Club, London in April 1986 when they supported Exciter. Due to the timetable running a bit late everyone was inside the venue when Onslaught emerged onstage to soundcheck ‘Let There Be Death’, which they did with such ferocity and precision that there were bodies and open mouths everywhere you looked. It was one of those spine tingling moments that only happen occasionally, it remains forever scorched onto my brain and second album ‘The Force’ is still one of my all time favourites!

What happened in subsequent years up until their eventual split in 1991 is a story for another day, needless to say I was more than a bit surprised, but extremely happy, when they decided to get back together in 2005. “VI” is Onslaught’s third album since returning and not only is it the best of the three it is also very close to being their finest hour. This is about as heavy and precise as a squadron of British Chieftain Tanks hitting you at full force, in other words “Fucking Immense”! Thirty second intro ‘A New World Order’ leads into ‘Chaos Is King’ and for the next forty minutes the skin is going to be melted from your face. Keeler’s venomous, spitting vocals improve as he ages and this is arguably his best ever performance. Founding member Nige Rockett and Andy Rosser Davies’ guitar work is outstanding, and in places reminiscent of Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P) and Annihilator’s Jeff Waters. Jeff Williams bass thunders and rumbles in perfect unison and new drummer Mic Hourihan appears to have been taking lessons from Gene Hoglan such is his split second timing. There really isn’t a poor track here and ’66’Fucking’6′ is going to become a thrash anthem!

Yes, I unashamedly love this album and after such brilliant releases from Exodus, Testament, Annihilator and Kreator in recent years I’m proud to say that Onslaught have matched them. I’m just pissed I never got round to reviewing this last October because it would have been top three in my albums of the year list. Double check the score I’ve given this, believe me, I don’t hand that out very often!

 

Tracklist

  • 1. A New World Order
  • 2. Chaos Is King
  • 3. Fuel for My Fire
  • 4. Children of the Sand
  • 5. Slaughterize
  • 6. 66’Fucking’6
  • 7. Cruci-Fiction
  • 8. Dead Man Walking
  • 9. Enemy of My Enemy

 

Social Media

  • https://www.powerfromhell.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/onslaughtuk/
  • https://www.instagram.com/onslaught_uk_official/

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce and part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Brutiful Metal Radio

Gothminister – The Other Side

Gothminister_The Other Side Cover

Gothminister – The Other Side

Running Time 34:09

Released on 13-10-2017 via AFM Records

7/10 – Review by Mike Tasak

By no means a stranger on the industrial scene, Norway’s favourite electronic noisemakers, Gothminister, are back with ‘The Other Side’, their sixth and latest album.

Fans of the band know what to expect by now; lashings of industrial mayhem spliced with heavy doses of melody across the board. This is the path the band have trodden since their inception and ‘The Other Side’ doesn’t really deviate from that path. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, Gothminister have become extremely adept at their brand of industrial metal and certainly do it better than most. Opening track ‘Ich Will Alles’ sets the tone perfectly and there are elements through the album that do harken to the heavier melodic elements of fellow countrymen Apoptygma Berzerk.

The only track that truly deviates from their normal approach is the pseudo-ballad ‘Aegir’, a surprisingly emotive and melodic track that, while different, meshes perfectly with the surrounding tracks. The tempo heads up a couple of notches with ‘We Are The Ones Who Rule The World’, a definite stand out banger of a song.

Album closer ‘Somewhere In Time’, fuses Dimmu Borgir-esque orchestral manoeuvres (in the dark) with the standard Gothminister formula, though Bjorn’s vocals have never felt as strong as they do here.

All in all, ‘The Other Side’ doesn’t reinvent the industrial wheel but then, I don’t think that was ever the intention. What you get is a stunningly strong album that might leave industrial purists a little put out but a strong album that has definite crossover appeal. Another highly successful addition to a successful career and an album well worth giving a few spins.

Gothminister

Track List –

  • 1. Ich Will Alles
  • 2. The Sun
  • 3. Der Fliegende Mann
  • 4. Aegir
  • 5. Red Christ
  • 6. We Are The Ones Who Rule The World
  • 7. All This Time
  • 8. Day Of Reckoning
  • 9. Taking Over
  • 10. Somewhere In Time

Stand out Tracks: Aegir, We Are The Ones Who Rule The World

Links –

  • http://www.gothminister.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/officialgothminister
  • https://twitter.com/gothminister
  • https://www.instagram.com/officialgothminister/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEhsQydd18Q (We Are The Ones Who Rule The World Video

 

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Mike Tasak and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.